Havering Council proposes to increase parking fines to £130 across the whole borough

Havering Council is proposing to increase the maximum parking fine across the borough to �130. Phot

Havering Council is proposing to increase the maximum parking fine across the borough to �130. Photo: Geoff Caddick/ PA Archive/PA Images - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

The maximum parking fine in most parts of Havering is currently £110, but the council is now proposing that this is increased to £130 because of new parking pressures.

Havering Council is planning to increase parking fines across the borough to £130.

At the moment the maximum Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) is £110 in most areas, but following an Overview and Scrutiny meeting last week (Thursday, October 18) the council is now proposing on increasing the maximum fine by £20.

Penalty Charge Notices across London are categorised into two bands, Band A (£130) and Band B (£110), with all inner-city councils charging Band A and the vast majority of outer London boroughs charging Band B.

The majority of Havering is currently in Band B, however Romford is in Band A.

Cllr Clarence Barrett.

Cllr Clarence Barrett. - Credit: Archant

The proposal is to make the whole of Havering Band A - raising the price of higher level fines to £130 and lower level PCN’s to £80.

A 50 per cent discount is still applicable if fines are paid within two weeks.

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The council stated that “due to increases in parking pressure throughout the borough, a review of the banding levels is warranted to discourage drivers from parking illegally, better protecting kerb space for local residents, as well as increasing road safety and reducing traffic in the borough.”

The amount of “housing development, attractive commuter hubs and shopping areas” are also cited as reasons by the council to why the borough has shown an increase in parking demand.

Last year (2017-18) the borough issued 74,893 PCN’s, an increase of 17,413 on the previous year (57,480 in 2016-17).

Of the near 75,000 PCNs issued in 2017, 60,000 were issued in Romford. The proposal would therefore see the minority of PCNs increased to the higher level fine.

The proposal will now have to receive approval from the London Councils’ Traffic and Environment Committee (LCTEC), and the Secretary for State before it is put in place.

A public consultation will also be held.

These plans have been challenged Councillor Ray Morgon (Hacton Residents Association) and Councillor Clarence Barrett (Cranham Residents Association).

Cllr Barrett said: “Contained within a poorly worded and inaccurate document, the justification put forward for the increase is quoted as a growth in parking pressure, to better protect kerb space, increased road safety and a reduction in traffic volumes.

“However, there is zero evidence that any of these benefits would be delivered. Furthermore, anyone receiving a PCN will usually have no idea whether the fine is £110 or £130 and is no deterrent whatsoever.

“Quite simply, the reasons set out are just eyewash and the unsaid motive is simply to increase income.

“Fortunately, the proposal will need approval from the London Councils Traffic and Environment Committee, who, seeing that Havering is alone among all the outer London boroughs in asking for this, will see that this is nothing to do with road safety and everything to do with raising revenue.”

Councillor Osman Dervish, cabinet member for environment, said: “The cost of parking penalty notices is set by London Councils, rather than Havering, and agreed with the Greater London Authority and the Secretary of State.

“In fairness to all, Havering is seeking to review the different parking bands because some parts of the borough pay more than others and this will ensure that people who break the law pay more.

“Any income generated from parking tickets is reinvested into improving the highways in the borough.”

Let us know your thoughts on the proposed increase, and send your opinions to liam.coleman@archant.co.uk